I have found that two factors are the main driving forces in life; my infinite love (for friends, family and shiny objects), and a crushing fear of abandonment.
It’s the first one that keeps me in my current relationship... and that second one that has caused me to run screaming into the night at the first sign of attachment in countless previous relationships.
A close friend of mine is also a proponent of the run-away-screaming school of intimacy, and thus between the two of us getting dumped is a near impossibility. Which is why I was in shock to hear recently that someone he was dating had the nerve to tap out before he had the chance to do it first... fortunately, it was wasn’t someone he was all that in to, and he coped with the situation with infinite maturity… he immediately got wasted and fucked someone else.
This aberration caused me to reflect on my sole experience with being on the receiving end of a dumping... needless to say, it was significantly more traumatic.
His name was Charles. I met him at the Korova Milk Bar the spring before college. He was 27, beautiful, piercing blue eyes, a total rock star. It was love at first sight.
The first two weeks together were idyllic… we would picnic together in Prospect Park, go see bands at Pianos, spend our evening in his Park Slope apartment listening to Imperial Teen while cooking vegetarian meals in his wok. We had cute little pet names for each other.
Everywhere we went, rainbows would form in the sky, and bluebirds would land on our shoulders and sing “I Got You Babe” duets to us. It was vile.
Then, somewhere around week three, things took a horrible turn for the worse. Charles became distant. When I did see him, he was very shifty eyed and nervous about going out in public. I assumed the worse... he was seeing someone else. I responded rationally by flying into a screaming crying rage and trashing his apartment before running out, slamming the door in his face.
Mysteriously, he stopped calling me after that.
Then, about a week later, he called me from a random area code I had never seen, and told me that he had to flee the state because there were threats on his life and he was all over the news and he didn’t know when he could return to New York, but he would always cherish our time together.
How many times was I going to fall for THAT line, though? Doubtful, I turned on the evening news, which I normally would never watch because it conflicts with Will and Grace. To my shock and horror, the first thing I saw was Charlie, looking a little pudgy and dressed in a cop uniform, staring back at me from the screen. I did a double take. Then, a triple take. Then, I vomited.
I turned up the volume to hear that the man on the screen, whose name incidentally was NOT Charles, was the defendant in a major murder trial/civil liberties violation lawsuit that was threatening to cause a race riot in the city.
Apparently, while I had been busy listening to Karen make wise cracks, the rest of the world had been following this case of a police shooting of an unarmed civilian.
The officer, the reporter went on to say, was the victim of countless death threats, as were his friends and family, especially his identical twin brother.
I was heartbroken.
I couldn’t believe Charles would stoop to such elaborate measures just to get rid of me. To create an entire citywide scandal just to have an excuse to leave me? It seemed so harsh and unnecessary. Or worse yet, if it were true... Was I really not worth risking death at the hands of an angry mob? What ever happened to commitment!
And I thought we had something special...